in part one of this series, we talked about using signage in creating your environment to provide comfort in navigating with your church launch. This time, let’s talk about creating comfort in your foyer, lobby or commons areas. There are so many ways to create a welcoming environment that is easy, affordable and simple!
The lobby is a great place to show off the personality of your church. Your lobby is, most times, the first impression of your style and personality that a first time visitor will have. There are some things that will become obvious to your visitors from the moment they walk in, so you definitely want to take advantage of this space. Let’s talk about 5 of the most important elements.
State your Mission
Of course they will hear your vision from stage, but the mission that your church is on can be reinforced in your lobby through branded graphics that drive that point home! It makes a great first impression, and serves as a constant (and beautiful) reminder every week.
Just like at home, good conversation happens over coffee. A Coffee Bar provides opportunities for connection. We are designing Coffee stations now with tall, conversation height, bistro tables with branded table tops, branded cups (or sleeves), and pour over stations and mugs for sale with your church logo/message. You will need to monitor the area to keep it clean and to ensure that you don’t run out of supplies. Put decorative touches that stylize the area (remember – no easily breakable items – we’re in a portable environment!).
Mini Stations with a bistro table and sign or simply a team wearing T-Shirts indicating they are they to help are a newer way to give first time people a clear place to go with questions. That doesn’t eliminate the need for the standard Information table though. This station manned or unmanned, is where visitors go for detailed information on your church, your core values, your mission, your ministries and (this is key, especially in portable environments), volunteer opportunities. This provides an aura of eagerness to connect and allows a visitor the freedom to find out more about your vision for the community.
The restroom offers an incredible opportunity to show how much you care! Beyond ensuring cleanliness, be sure to include many fine touches to the space. Many churches put out a bistro table with mints, nicer hand towels, business cards of the pastor or their spouse (Husbands card in mens bathroom, wives card in the women’s), Others will print magnetic signs with encouraging or thought provoking message that get placed to be read when a stall or main door is closed.
Music or Video
Consider piping in your worship service via a speaker or a Television into the lobby. This could be an “overflow” space for you – or ultra-cool seating for your youth group. Staff your “Video Cafe” with coffee and refreshments. This could be potentially very effective for the casual visitor who just wants to “see what this church thing is all about”.
Think about your favorite restaurant, place to write sermons or meeting place. What makes it your “favorite”? Is it the seating, the lighting, the customer service? Is it the artistry, the music or the warm colors? Take notice of those things and figure out how to apply them to your portable environment. What makes you comfortable will likely make your visitors feel comfortable.
Questions? Feel free to call our Environmental Consultant for more suggestions and guidance.